Merck is advertising Gardasil directly to college students that utilize Barnes and Noble’s bkstore.com. For those unfamiliar, bkstore.com has a plugin structure where students log on to their college’s bookstore, choose their class number (e.g. PHRM 328), and their books are loaded up, and you can either pick them up or have them shipped to you. No going to stand in lines or trying to figure out what books you need. One click shopping at it’s most convenient.
So these are college bookstores inadvertently advertising prescription drugs to the entire college population. Well, more accurately, to the population that chooses to have their books shipped to their home, anyway. I don’t know if the bundles that can be picked up have similar advertising info.
Merck’s going about it in a strange way, though. They’re sticking the prescribing information into these boxes. No fancy brochures, just the PI packet, which I find rather bizarre.
I can’t say it doesn’t make sense, or that it’s a terrible idea — I think it’s better than advertising Ambien on television — but it does make me wonder what’s next… Cephalon advertising Provigil to high school and college kids? Med students? Pharmacy students?
(No discounts for having advertising in your box of books, either. ;) )